In Kozhikode I always run into people I know. It's as natural as it is uncomfortable for me. First there is the wonderment at seeing some person when you are least expecting it. Then there is the problem of what to say. If the other person is a loquacious kind I'm saved. Otherwise I end up asking 'what do you do now' a couple of times and succumb to awkward pauses.
My classmate and friend, Vai Vow was coming to Kozhikode that day. It was his first journey to the south of India. He was from Amravati, Maharashtra. I had invited a lot of my classmates home but most of them were as lazy as I was and so didn't make it. Vai did.
I had decided I would make ada for him. This was because Calico couldn't eat the kappa I made him because it was bad for his tummy and I felt I had to make him something he liked. I would make six. Three for Vai and three for Calico.
I had made it once in the institute and had given it to NN and Hari. I had burnt the jaggery then and I burnt it this time too. And like how all people say, I loved the burnt taste. Next time i am sure to get it right and the shape and texture too. Taste-wise i am more than happy. Recipe again from Mishmash, the food haven.
I kept the tiffin box of adas at Calico's door, on his backless washing machine, to be precise, (yes, he has a backless washing machine propped up outside his house) I caught a bus to the railway station. There I met two people I knew.
Jeenachechi used to give me math tuition when I was in high school. Pooja was her daughter. They had returned from Kannur, where Pooja was studying. I asked her what her course was and forgot her reply immediately. Then someone patted me on my back. It was Vai. I let out a shriek and started laughing. He laughed too. It was the most absurd thing for both of us. We would never have imagined that we'd meet in Kerala.
I was relieved I could take leave of Jeenachechi and Pooja. Vai and I proceeded out of the station to have our first tea together in Kozhikode. After tea he bought himself an umbrella like we had decided earlier. That was one thing he would need while in Kerala in June.
When we reached home I gave him ada and he liked it. I was happy. My days as a host was starting. I was tense. Also excited. I didn't know what to do. Two film students stuck with each other is more awkward than silences in my opinion.